The transmission of the more contagious Delta variant in the United States could spur a fall surge in coronavirus infections if only 75% of the country’s eligible population is vaccinated, former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb said Sunday.
While Gottlieb cited one projection forecasting an increase in infections reaching as high as 20% of last winter’s peak, he called that an “aggressive estimate,” saying he doesn’t “think it’ll be quite that dire.” “So Connecticut, for example, where I am, shows no upsurge of infection, but Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri show very substantial upsurges of infections. That’s based entirely on how much population-wide immunity you have based on vaccination,” Gottlieb said on CBS’s Face the Nation program.
Gottileb has pushed for more people to get vaccinated as schools start to return. He has also expressed a concern about a recent UK study which shows some COVID-19 patients have had shrinking in their brain tissue. The CDC has elevated the Delta strain from “variant of interest” to “variant of concern”, which means the agency officially recognises that it may carry a risk of more severe illness and transmissibility.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BEND BULLETIN
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